A couple of Phoenicians living temporarily in Roma

Archive for the tag “vacation”

Chuiso per Ferie (Closed for Holiday)

IMG_5109Ah, vacanza in Italia. It’s a phenomena not known in the US, but common in parts of Europe. Storefronts are shuttered. Businesses close down. Some for the entire month of August; like our friend’s medical/legal business, or the chiropractor’s office. Others, for anywhere to a week or three (you can see some affects of the economic crisis here). I’ve been walking our neighborhood this month and it’s become like a ghost town. There’s parking on the streets. Hardly any people around. And more businesses shuttered than open.

It’s my 2nd August in Italy, and I’m still fascinated by it all. What’s so intriguing to my mind, which is little used these days, is how they let you know they’ll be gone. Some storefronts just close the gates and that’s it. They’ll be open when they feel like it.

But more common is a sign. In the window behind the security gate. High up on the store sign above the door. In a corner of a now empty display case. They are hung with packing tape or scotch tape. Someone was environmentally conscious and reused the DHL packing tape to hang theirs. Some signs tell you a “to and from” date, while others just let you know when they’ll return.

And they come in a variety of styles. Handwritten. There’s a printed one with drawings of a sailboat and a cable car lift, like at a ski resort. This one seems to be the standard template that’s available. Some people really go all out and print it on colored paper. Then there was one with a drawing of a woman in a bikini top holding a cocktail (she has the right idea!).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Amazingly, one owner found it necessary to make it REALLY official, with a stamp and everything. (I used Google Translate… Italian doesn’t always translate well to English…)


“I, the undersigned, Paolo Rubini, owner / manager of administration Bar Rubini, exercise place in the street / square off Gallia 106/108, communicate the summer break of the month of August in the following period from 10/08/13 to 31/8/13. In Faith, Paolo Rubin”

But my favorite is from this blog I posted some weeks ago, which I reposted from another site.chiuso-per-ferie

“Closed for holiday, for condoms and Viagra go to the bicycle repairman on Via dei Macci, thanks”

I hope you enjoyed your ferie. Stay tuned for a new blog coming up soon about our travels this summer to the island of Majorca, off the coast of Spain and a cruise to Greece.


Isis Hires a Lawyer

While living in Rome, we have been incredibly fortunate to have our most wonderful neighbors, Barb and Dennis, care for our home and our cat Isis. Isis is an old cat, 18 or 19 yrs old, and it was easier to leave her at home and have Barb come over daily to care for her, than to foster her out to someone during our absence.

Barb has also been gracious enough to take care of Isis when we travel on shorter trips and will bring her grandson Darian with her to feed Isis when he is visiting. Since Darian has never seen us at the house, he thinks Isis lives in a lovely furnished home with a swimming pool by herself!

Isis is a sweet cat, a dear companion, but nocturnal, as most cats are, so we’ve had to put her in a room with her food and litter box at the other end of the house at night in order for us to get any sleep. Otherwise she’s in the bed waking me up numerous times during the night; or scratching at the bedroom door if we close it to keep her out and howling at the top of her kitty lungs.

Upon our return home we found the following note:

Isis Co-Habitation Requirements 

Isis has secured a lawyer to update her past living conditions. Upon return of the intermittent human house occupants the following rules will be in effect:

1. Isis will have free reign of all living quarters at all times. Isis (aka Kitty, Puss) will be able to sleep on the bed as she has become accustomed.

2. Kitty will have breakfast on the patio on those days where weather permits.

3. Isis will eat small portions 3-4 times a day keeping food fresh.

4. Two different varieties of foods will be served daily.

5. Kitty is to be combed with her pink comb daily to prohibit the tangling of fur into unsightly hairballs.

6. Isis is to be petted and spoken to in a mild and sweet manner upon seeing her enter a room.

Failure to meet these demands will result in hairballs on bed pillows, and loud and obnoxious meowing. Also a call to CPSA (Cat Protection Services of Arizona) will be made.

Isis with her Legal Counsel, Darian, deliberating over lunch!



Today I ventured out to the Teatro de Opera to see about getting tickets to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra which will be performing here on Monday. While walking to the Metro, I stumbled onto a traffic accident between a bus and a car. Luckily no one appeared to be hurt. There are so many cars, motorbikes, buses and pedestrians all jockeying for space on the roads;  accidents and dented cars seem to be part of the way of life here.

I scored tickets for Monday for the Symphony and we will be in the first row. It’s a good thing I didn’t convert the euros to dollars when buying the tickets! As Michael says, “Go BIG or stay at home!” The last time I saw the Chicago Symphony was at the Opera House in Chicago, many, many years ago when I lived there.

After purchasing tickets, I meandered down Via Nazionale (window shopping, of course!) to Piazza Venezia where the Vittorio Emanuele Monument sits. It began to be built in the late 1800’s in honor of the first king of Italy, and is often referred to as “the wedding cake” due to it’s monsterous size and the fact that it’s white against the backdrop of golden hues of the rest of Roman buildings. I visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and then wandered inside the museum which chronicles the fight for independence of Italy and showcases the founders of the country. There is a lovely terrace that surrounds the building with a cafe, where I sat for a glass of wine while taking in the surrounding views.

I was struck again on the way home by how amazing Rome is. Everywhere you look there are ruins, showcasing a part of ancient history. It seems it would take at least a lifetime of living here to not only understand it all, but also to see it all.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: